Chapter 153: Old Story
“I promised that I would talk about the lake yesterday. That’s Purgatory Island,” Earl Coulter said from behind us as we gazed upon the small island filled with rugged rocks.
“Master, this isn’t something to tell tiny children. I heard it was something that happened hundreds of years ago, to us, it’s nothing but a fairy tale,” one of the rowers spoke directly to Earl Coulter. It would be something that’s impossible normally, but in this fief, the lord and his people are close. The rowers also said that this was good for extra income since people didn’t come here in winter.
“However, the citizens don’t come here either. It’s a dangerous place that even fishermen avoid.” Earl Coulter answered slowly. Didn’t the rower say that he shouldn’t talk about it because it’s dangerous?
“Why is it dangerous? Is there something there?” Nico’s eyes were sparkling. Prince Albert seemed to know the origin of the island and was staring at it in interest.
“That is an island without a barrier. The only place in Kingdom where the Hollows appear from.”
“Hollows. The ones that suck the life out of living things?”
I looked at Nico in surprise. Is he already learning about them? Nico nodded lightly at me.
“Kingdom was built to repel the Hollows.”
Come to think of it, that’s the only role of the royal family. Well, the same for the Four Marquises though. I’m sure they really get taught about the role of the royal family from a young age. I’ve never taken such a class, so he must have learnt about this before I met him.
“It seems that the barrier is weak on this lake. This island is evenly separated from any shore and is a special place where the barrier doesn’t reach. Prince Nicholas will learn more about this island when he gets older.”
“I’ve never learnt about anything like that at school.”
Nii-sama looked complicated.
“It’s something that is only taught to the Four Marquises and the royal family when they reach adulthood,” Prince Albert answered. Is it alright for me to listen to this?
“It’s not hidden. In fact, all of our citizens know about it. But, everyone except for the fishermen probably think of it as a fairy tale.”
The rowers all nodded.
“Children usually listen to what you say if you tell them that you’ll take them to Purgatory Island if they do bad things.”
That would probably be too scary.
“But, the fishermen, you know. Even if they’re careful not to approach the island, they might inadvertently see the Hollows depending on the weather and time.”
Thus, they know that it’s dangerous and not just a fairy tale.
“The origin of the name Purgatory Island-.” Earl Coulter paused slowly. Scary, scary.
“Because this used to be the place where Kingdom took their criminals.”
Silence fell on the ship. I looked at Nico’s face.
“Peopwe who do bad thhingsh,” I explained with a complicated expression on my face. It was a heavier story than I thought.
“Don’t the Hollows suck life?! Why?!” Nii-sama was stunned, and Gill looked at the island with his arms folded.
“This may not be something to say in front of children, but don’t you think it’s not much different from killing someone with a sword?” Earl Coulter looked at Nii-sama and asked. That’s not it. It’s not about how you enforce punishment.
Hollows sucking up life is like this…
“The pershon’sh appearance remainsh. Ith’sh noth good,” I said, and everyone looked at me in surprise.
There probably aren’t many people who would come all the way here to see Hollows. However, if their family members were to come here…
Even if someone is killed by a Hollow in Frontier, their appearance would be overwritten by another living thing, or they are hunted by hunters, so people don’t see their appearances, and they probably don’t get sad because of it. However, no other living beings are on this island, so the Hollows will keep the same appearance until the next criminal arrives.
“Sad. Feew bad.”
Even if people know that Hollows suck life from living beings, only regret remains if the Hollows take on the appearance of their loved ones. Regret will eventually turn into hatred, and before long, they will want revenge.
“I’m surprised…” Earl Coulter muttered after a long silence.
“That system is gone because of that reason.”
Even if the person has committed a bad crime, and even if they know that the Hollows are only copying the appearance of something, they will still turn their grudges towards Kingdom. Before long, that grudge will probably cause a revolt.
“It’s free to enter the lake now, but in those times, it was forbidden. Still, there were people who secretly sailed boats out to see their family. Eventually, things were rough in Kingdom because those people started revolting.”
If the criminal was a noble, then they would have the power to cause a revolt.
“Since then, no criminals have been dropped off on this island.”
“It’s morbid, Master. But well I know about this,” a rower interrupted Earl Coulter.
“If you’re going to talk about this, then it’s better to talk about this at the warm mansion.”
“No, it’s better to look at the island while talking about it.”
It’s not good, is it? The rower has a lot of common sense.
It was still morning, so the Hollows won’t appear. We stared at the island for a while, then headed to the bank.
“We normally do this in the morning.”
They showed us how they fished. It was fun to touch the warmish water that the fish was put in with Nico. Nico was having fun catching fish as well, and I found out later that Nii-sama and the others also had fun grabbing the fishes.
This might have nothing to do with inspections, but I think it’s important to have experiences like this. The chef at the mansion salted the fish and put them on skewers. We were watching the chef and he said, “Are you alright with the organs?” He might be too friendly.
“I’m not. But it’s probably important to eat,” Nico answered, and I thought he was amazing. By the way, I’m alright with however the food is prepared.
“It’s because you’re a glutton,” was it Gill or Hans who said this? I don’t think they can talk though.
It’s not gluttonous to have lunch and fish again for dinner since this is a snack. I’m only responding to their hospitality.
And, infants should have an early night, but there was a knock at my door, so my night was dragged on.
“Prince Nicholas is here,” along with the voice of the guard at the door.